An 18-wheeler truck rear-ended another 18-wheeler truck on the interstate going approximately 55 miles per hour. The plaintiff was a restrained driver that did not anticipate the impact. He was in the course and scope of his employment, and the employer immediately denied liability because the Plaintiff denied a prior low back injury during a recorded statement. The Plaintiff was transported from the scene of the accident to the emergency room. He arrived complaining of neck pain radiating down to his left shoulder. X-ray’s of his cervical spine and left shoulder were performed. No abnormal findings were reported. Two (2) days after the auto accident, the Plaintiff presented to the emergency room for a second time.
A few days later the Plaintiff presented to a medical provider, still complaining of pain in the cervical spine, lumbar spine and thoracic spine. An MRI of the cervical spine was performed and showed no abnormal findings. An MRI of the thoracic spine was performed, and it showed a central disc protrusion. An MRI of the lumbar spine was performed showed a circumferential disc bulge with a central disc protrusion causing moderate central canal stenosis indenting neural foramina on either side.
The Plaintiff was seen by a neurosurgeon who recommended continued conservative therapy plus pain management. The neurosurgeon did not recommend surgical intervention unless the Plaintiff’s condition worsened. Shortly thereafter, a board certified physical medicine physician began administering a series of lumbar epidural injections. The Plaintiff underwent a series of injections for several months with no relief.
The Plaintiff ultimately underwent surgery. After several months of therapy and treatment, the Plaintiff was released from his treatment with some minor improvement to his condition. A lawsuit was filed after several months of attempting to negotiate with the insurance carrier. The case ultimately settled or $380,000; the Plaintiff was also able to settle with the workers compensation carrier for $5,000.